ASICS GEL-Nimbus 24: A Whole New Nimbus
ROBBE: I honestly feel like every time a new Nimbus comes out, it seems like yesterday we were reviewing the last version.
In some civilizations, time is kept by the annual renewal of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus. As surely as the leaves change, winter falls, spring springs, and summer blooms, the Nimbus carries along, year after year. It shares the same circle as death and taxes in its certainty.
For many runners, it is the shoe they find and never move on from. One day, they walked into a running store to start a new hobby; fifteen years later, they still wear the same Nimbus or a variation thereof. Call it the running equivalent of the Zuckerberg hoodie. And for years, the GEL-Nimbus subsisted on this runner, to a fault– the shoe labored in mediocrity, a bloated lesson in unnecessary excess rivaled only by the federal government. While it provided enough nutritional value for the hobby jogger to subsist on, the palette of more seasoned running enthusiasts was left with an aftertaste of stale sawdust.
Resting on your laurels, however comfortable, can lead to atrophy. Some brands recognize this and change, others become their own version of Kodak, insisting their past dominance will guarantee future success, with or without advancements in product. Two years ago, ASICS was dangerously close to becoming obsolete to hardcore runners. Indeed, we harped on them often for lack of creativity and innovation across the entire line.
Slowly, but surely, that ship turned around, with legitimately great offerings in the Novablast, Metaspeed Sky, and Lite lines. And with the arrival of the GEL-Nimbus 24, it’s safe to say they’ve made a grand return to their original port of call.
So what makes us so excited about this traditional daily trainer? In short, the shoe is a total overhaul. For starters, it’s lost around 10 grams, though it feels much lighter, especially for what the shoe promises– a reliable ride that will last hundreds of miles. And while this is still a Honda Accord of a shoe, it offers some out-of-the-box upgrades that give this workhorse some pep in its step. We’ll get into all that in the review, but we can promise you that if you wrote the GEL-Nimbus off at any time in the last five years, you may want to make a hard U-turn back to it.
THOMAS: Robbe covered most of the history of the GEL-Nimbus, and there’s not much more to say for an introduction. While the Nimbus never was my go-to shoe from ASICS, there’s much about this version that will make this shoe just that for a lot of runners out there.
BRANDON: The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 24, a shoe literally older than me, has been making the rounds over at ASICS for quite some time. So, after that many iterations, has ASICS figured it out? I would say so. Honestly, this shoe is one of the ultimate workhorses and can take you from point A to be point B with ease and comfort.
With the shoes well provided engineered mesh upper, knit tongue, trusstic system, and new FF Blast+ midsole, the ride of the shoe just works wonders on the foot.
ROBBE: I know I waxed poetic in the intro, but let’s get to the nuts and bolts of this thing. Like I said, whenever a Nimbus comes our way, I have tempered expectations that anything about it will surprise me or delight me. Which is fine, it’s a workhorse shoe, it’s not supposed to be that special. But at first step-in, I thought– ”Ohhh, this may actually be special.” My first run and every one thereafter confirmed this.
I absolutely love this shoe.
Let’s start with the upper. It’s an engineered mesh, so nothing super special about it– plenty breathable, plenty comfortable, lockdown and fit are quite solid, as the Nimbus has always been. But then it has a new knit tongue, which is a bit stretchy and a bit long (though I didn’t mind). It pretty much mimics the same tongue found in the GEL-Nimbus Lite 3, and I really love it in both models.
Moving down to the midsole. Ah yes, this beautiful midsole. The GEL-Nimbus 24 is the first ASICS shoe to feature Flytefoam Blast+, which is essentially Flytefoam Blast (found in the Novablast), but taken to the next level. According to ASICS, Blast+ is 15% lighter, 15% softer, and has 12% more bounce than the Blast. And it feels glorious.
The ride on the GEL-Nimbus 24 is one of those that you just want to keep going for miles on end. I kept coming back to this shoe again and again for all my runs, because it’s just effortless. You don’t have to put in any thought, you just throw them on, get out the door, and have a wonderful run. Sure, there are some shoes that are more exciting and faster (I’m talking about shoes in the tempo range, like its counterpart in the GEL-Nimbus Lite 3), but for a solid daily trainer to rack up miles, this is all I could want.
I took this on several runs ranging from 6-10 miles and enjoyed it every step of the way, even picking it up when I felt like it. The landing is just the right amount of soft while providing a surprising amount of energy return (fans of the Novablast know what I’m talking about). In comparison to that shoe, it feels softer. In some ways, the Flytefoam Blast+ reminded me of the feel of the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2, but in a more structured daily trainer.
Of course, the shoe still has GEL. We used to bash it when GEL was at the forefront of ASICS technology, but now it’s almost a design choice or an attempt to keep some consistency for those baked-in loyalists. And it’s fine, offering some shock absorption in the heel and a touch in the forefoot.
The outsole features a generous amount of ASICS AHAR rubber, which will give you all the durability you need.
For first-time marathoners or those looking for a do-it-all shoe from beginning to end of marathon training, I think this shoe could actually fill that need quite nicely. All I can say is I didn’t expect to fall in love with this shoe, but I have. Hoping to get 100+ miles in it during Winter GRIT.
THOMAS: I feel like after 4-5 years of working with Robbe, I have a general idea of what shoes he is going to like.I knew the Nimbus 24 was going to be a good shoe for him, but I wasn’t expecting the level of love he has for the shoe. The ride of the Nim 24 is in a sweet spot. The Flytefoam Blast+ is soft without being dead. ASICS nailed the fit of the upper right down to the stretchy gusseted tongue. For Nimbus fans this shoe is not a small improvement, it is a leap forward. Everything from the ride, to the fit, to the look of the shoe is a major upgrade.
The most important ingredient in the new model is the Flytefoam Blast+. The new foam is soft and bouncy underfoot. It has a luxurious feel. Where I felt the previous versions of the Nimbus felt sturdy and clunky, the 24 is light and agile. The GEL-Nimbus 24 is a daily trainer that will gobble up miles in comfort.
BRANDON: So by now you have probably already realized that this shoe is pretty dang good, and Thomas and Robbe aren’t wrong. The 24th iteration is my first time ever running in a Nimbus, but to be honest, I feel pretty dang lucky that I didn’t have to run in any of the earlier versions. What makes this shoe so special is the FF Blast+ midsole, a compound that is known to be more responsive and more bouncy than its predecessor. The midsole also provides a Trusstic system that locks the shoe in place and provides stability throughout the midfoot.
The shoe is a durable daily trainer that is always going to be there when you need it. Whether it’s a workout, long run, or race day, this shoe can do it all; and sometimes that’s a pretty unique quality in a shoe. The Nimbus 24 is a more stable and built-up Nimbus Lite 3 and provides that extra bit of support one would need when rolling through stride.
The engineered mesh is breathable and caused no issues for me on the run. The knit tongue is thin and stretches like crazy. I actually think it is one of the more important aspects of the shoe. The tongue provides ample support and lockdown in the shoe with its gusset. The outside provides decent grip and traction so no issues there.
Honestly, this shoe is sort of a no-brainer. You can’t go wrong with it.Shop Nimbus 24 – Men Shop Nimbus 24 – Women
ROBBE: For what it is– a reliable daily trainer, you’re not gonna find much from me in this section. Some people may not like the length of the tongue, but I personally had no issues with it. The weight is right, no issues there either. It’s simplified over past versions that had too much going on, so nothing there as well. If there were one small thing that I know others would like to see changed, and I probably wouldn’t mind either– is the high drop. It seems people want a slightly lower drop from the 10 mm for men and 13 mm for women that the Nimbus has employed for some time. Maybe drop it (no pun intended) just a bit?
The fact that I keep coming back to this shoe means I really have no issues with it. If I did, I’d just move on.
THOMAS: While the Nimbus 24 feels like an entirely new shoe, the look of the shoe still clings to the heritage of the previous ASICS. The color combo I received for testing is a bit retro, not in a good way. Unlike the Nimbus Lite 3, I won’t be wearing the Nimbus 24 casually after their running days are over.
Flytefoam Blast+ is fantastic, however, it seemed to bottom out under the toes just a little. In the future, I would like a few more millimeters of foam upfront under the toes.
BRANDON: I mean, at a $150 dollar price point I guess I could find better shoes (like the Novablast 2), but honestly even that isn’t so bad considering how expensive some running shoes are becoming. The colorway and overall look of the shoe is a bit of an eyesore. But honestly, that shouldn’t matter when going for runs. Trust me, no one cares what color shoes you have on your feet, and neither should you.Shop Nimbus 24 – Men Shop Nimbus 24 – Women
ROBBE: In my years reviewing for Believe in the Run, this is by far the best iteration of the GEL-Nimbus, and I think die-hard Nimbus loyalists will be in for quite a pleasant surprise. The upgrades were done in all the right ways, and ASICS stuck a perfect landing with the rollout of Flytefoam Blast+ in this shoe. It’s a daily trainer that sticks to the basics– comfortable and structured upper, midsole, rubber outsole, and, well… GEL. But the basics just got a whole lot better. For $150, you’re getting a shoe that does it all, and does it quite well.
THOMAS: I like the Nimbus 24 a lot, it is a huge improvement on the legend. It is lighter, softer, and fits like a dream. The team at ASICS did a phenomenal job. The shoe is a daily trainer that will be hard to beat. One of its best competitors is actually the ASICS GEL-Nimbus Lite 3.
While Robbe falls for the 24, I actually prefer the GEL-Nimbus Lite 3. The Lite, even with the older foam, felt soft and responsive underfoot with a cleaner, more modern look. The 24 may have the Lite beat when it comes to stability. My hope is that in the future the two shoes become one with the best of both. Until then, you should try them both on and decide for yourself. I often recommend ordering a few models from Running Warehouse which has free shipping and returns. You can do a home try-on and return the shoes you don’t choose before you even get a credit card bill.
BRANDON: 2022 is kicking it off pretty strong with the Nimbus 24. I wasn’t expecting much from this shoe, but ended up getting a lot from it. The shoe is well built, durable, bouncy, and maintains a pretty decent weight all things considered. ASICS has transitioned toward a more foam first, GEL second approach and I think it is paying off. The GEL is there for extra support but doesn’t make or break the shoe. The FF Blast+ midsole and Trusstic system are what makes this shoe so special and ASICS really hit the mark here.
You can pick up the at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.Shop Nimbus 24 – Men Shop Nimbus 24 – Women
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I notice only guys have reviewed this shoe and I’m a little astonished by the female stiletto version at a 13mm drop… any thoughts?